Archive CD Reviews

Spring 2000 
CD Reviews



Something For The Weekend

Back in the ‘70s, U.K. rockers Stackridge could do no wrong. Highlighted by the talents of gifted composer Andy Davis, the band went on to record several trend-setting pop albums including The Man In The Bowler Hat, produced in ‘75 by Beatles’ legend George Martin. Years after they broke up, Stackridge is back in the spotlight, unfortunately minus Davis. Andy Davis represented the John Lennon influence in the ‘70s band and his colleague in the early Stackridge, James Warren (guitars, vocals) continues on in the Stackridge spirit with some new fab-sounding McCartney-esque rockers on the band’s recent return to form released on their own DAP label. There’s even a track called “Something About The Beatles” a song which should pick up the ears of any Beatles fan with it’s melodic twists and turns. On SFTW Warren is backed up by a tight band including Stackridge alumni Crun Walter (bass) and Mike Evans (violins, vocals). The Man In The Bowler Hat it might not be, but there’s clearly enough of the early Stackridge vibe here to intrigue any long time fan and newcomers alike. DAP is also offering a recently released James Warren solo CD entitled Jim’s Special Edition Easy Listening Christmas Album and is in the process of overhauling other Stackridge classics including a newly revamped CD of the band’s last great ‘70s album Mr. Mick.  / 


Life’ll Kill Ya

If anyone can get away with calling his new album Life’ll Kill Ya it’s gotta be the great Warren Zevon. The long awaited follow-up to his ‘95 classic Mutineer, Life’ll Kill Ya brings the songwriting legend out of his semi-retirement. The subject matter of Zevon’s songs are always haunting, gripping and ironic at best, and Life’ll Kill Ya proves he’s still a master at pairing dazzling pop melodies with the starkest of lyrics. Case in point are the ultra-sardonic lyrics of the lead-off track “I Was In The House When The House Burned Down” and the title track. On the other hand, Zevon shows his remorseful, yet nature on the melodic, almost Byrds-inspired “I’ll Slow You Down” and the ominous subject matter of “Hostage-O”. Zevon more than holds his own on vocals, guitars and keyboards with able assistance from Jorge Calderon (bass) and Winston Watson (drums). A soul-searching cover of Steve Winwood’s “Back In High Life” sort of serves as a tension breaker, but after mulling over the depth and intensity of these songs, it’s obvious that Zevon delivers one heckuva moody pop wallop with Life’ll Kill Ya.


One Part Lullaby

Today’s young rock and roll bands have such an expansive pallet of influences to draw upon, that in the right hands a talented pop group can’t possibly miss. A good example is the latest CD from L.A.-based The Folk Implosion. Intriguing late ‘60s/early ‘70s influences from pop legends such as The Byrds, Donovan and Eno mix things up with a trendy ‘90s indie pop groove on One Part Lullaby, which delivers the goods with a clever balance of melody and imagination. The brainchild of multi-instrumentalists Lou Barlow and John Davis, One Part Lullaby contains more than it’s share of artsy paisley pop influences, from the driving hip-hop groove of the lead off track “My Ritual” and the dreamy pop soundscapes of the title track to the cool guitar-heavy instrumental homage to the spaghetti western entitled “Serge”. Created like a cut-and-paste pop collage on Apple computers with the Pro Tools software program, One Part Lullaby creates enough of a musical buzz to make The Folk Implosion a band worth keeping your eyes on.



Arriving from his native South America at the dawn of the ‘70s, U.K.-based guitarist Phil Manzanera soon made his name as the guitarist in glam-rock icon Roxy Music. It didn’t take Manzanera long to create quite a buzz with his eclectic electric guitar work. During the last couple of years he has built quite an impressive web site and reissue label, the guitar great has just issued his new for ‘99 studio album Vozero. Manzanera made his name with a series of avant rock instrumental and vocal solo projects in the ‘70s and considering his uncanny knack to write perform or produce a great rock track (he did discover Split Enz), Manzanera’s new album makes for some incredible listening. Among the fine players assisting Manzanera are Soft Machine founder Robert Wyatt, who’s guitar, piano and vocal work is all over the album. Also on hand are Phil’s Roxy bandmate Andy Mackay (sax) and singer-songwriter ace and Pete Townshend buddy Billy Nicholls. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone who dug Manzanera’s work in Roxy Music all the way to his work in the mainstream of the instrumental prog-rock world of the ‘70s is advised to hunt down this future classic. Tune into Manzanera’s impressive web site  for a glimpse of the many cool reissue CDs the guitarist has just made available. Among the classics here are the all time instrumental rock classic Mainstream from the heyday of the ‘70s group Quiet Sun and Manzanera’s star-studded first solo album Diamond Head. Too many goodies too mention here including, of all things a fab Paul McCartney Run Devil Run t-shirt!  or 


The Not-So-Bright Side Of The Moon
(Pop Llama)

Many say Pink Floyd hit their zenith with the ‘73 album Dark Side Of The Moon. Even today the album still inspires and case in point is the Squirrels’ 1999 version of the Floyd classic. Definitely not a a spoof, yet far from a zealous clone, the album finds The Squirrels having fun Dark Side, even opting out for a spoof title. Spearheaded by album producer Rob “Capt” Morgan, who croons his way through many of the lead vocal tracks, The Squirrels feature outstanding players like guitarists Jimmy “JT” Thomas, Kurt Bloch and Don Pawlak. Adding in some Zappa-inspired sound effects on many of the tracks, The Squirrels break musical ground with their unique Floyd tribute. Disguised in outrageous cover art, The Not-So-Bright Side Of The Moon should find a home with any fan of the Rutles and open-minded Pink Floyd fans.


Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by Send to: CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249




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